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The Lakers signing Rajon Rondo may be inevitable

For the past several seasons, the focus was on the summer. The 2010 NBA champions had become a quickly fading memory and it became apparent that the team needed to reload. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were entering their mid-thirties and the next generation of championship contending Lakers were not in sight. As the team was routinely without first round picks (and when they had them, they selected well out of the lottery), the focus gravitated towards, of course, summer free agency, The Lakers needed to bring on some new blood with cold hard cash–the idea of building through the draft was not exactly the first option.
The rebirth of the Lake Show pointed to July.
That aforementioned summer was almost one year ago. And the 21-59 Lakers are the product of how that summer went.
The front office went after all the top guys of that class, offering maximum salaried deals to LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dirk Nowitzki. They struck out each time. Instead, the team kept their flexibility rolling until the next summer, replicating their plan for another year. The organization is holding out hope that summer 2015 is wholly different from summer 2014 and the rebuild can truly jump start.
However, looking at the landscape of the league, it doesn’t appear that it’s going to be as easy as all that. In fact, this supposed free agent bonanza might be as limited as it was one year ago. The last man standing–and maybe future Laker–could be Rajon Rondo.
Rondo’s pedigree isn’t hard to see. Four-time All-Star, two-time First Team All-Defense, two-time Second Team All-Defense and a 2008 NBA title at the expense of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. He’s an all-world passer and such a fierce competitor that he’s earned the pronounced vocal respect of the Black Mamba himself. He’s a proven star in many respects and one still in his twenties.
But it seems like the reasons not to sign him far outweigh the reasons in favor of it. Harrison Faigen covered many of them here, the least of which includes the emergence of Jordan Clarkson and the fact that Rajon Rondo…might not be that good.
However, looking at the landscape of the league and where the Lakers are at, I see Rondo’s signing as an inevitability rather than a simple theory. Let’s take a look at the reasons:
(Read on for them reasons at SS&R!)

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Keepsake: Boston Celtics Season Preview

(Posted on behalf of blog brother AO)
Starting Five: TBA (Editor’s note: to begin the season, only F Jeff Green and G Avery Braldey are really assured of starting roles. But in general, it’s all in flux right now)
Key Bench Players: Undetermined
Notable Offseason Additions: PF Kris Humphries’ expiring contract, PF/C Kelly Olynyk, SF Gerald Wallace, G MarShon Brooks, three first round picks from the Brooklyn Nets.
Notable Offseason Subtractions: PF Kevin Garnett, SF Paul Pierce, G Jason Terry’s corpse and head coach Doc Rivers.
FACT OR FICTION: The Celtics are rebuilding.  They have cleaned house of everyone except Rajon Rondo.  To really commit to the rebuild, they must trade Rajon Rondo.
This is a popular yet misguided thought among NBA heads.   I disagree so wholeheartedly that we’re going to rip through the other Celtic summer league headlines in one summary sentence:  Olynyk was the Summer League Jesus, Humphries’ expiring is a huge deadline card to be played, and RIP Ubuntu.  Now, the three reasons why Boston should absolutely not trade Rondo:… Read more...

The Post-Rondo Celtics – Where Do They Go From Here?

(Along with our man Thunderstolt, we sent out an APB for The King after it was announced Sunday that Rajon Rondo was done for the season with a torn ACL. To dispute some rumblings in the New England, our man sent us a couple bullet points regarding his beloved Celtics)
The Celtics are not a better team without Rondo
The King: Incredibly, some Celtics fans have suggested that the Celtics may be better off without Rondo, citing statistics such as his +/- this year. There are a million ways to prove such thinking is ludicrous, but I’ll do it simply by providing one link:
KOBEsh: I have nothing further to add. People are stupid.

NBA Tattoo Power Rankings

       As anyone who’s ever watched an NBA game can attest, ink is a popular past time for players in L. While it’s hard to replace Reggie Miller’s stomach tattoo, which is just waiting to be accompanied by a pierced belly button, or Starbury’s Tyson-esque face too, there is currently a lot of tattooed talent in the NBA today. Inspired by Jason Terry’s brand new Celtics championship tattoo, which is clearly a desperate attempt to recreate the Larry O’Brien trophy tat that predicted a Mavericks title, we at GREAT MAMBINO decided to create an inaugural All-NBA Tattoo Power Rankings.

While diving into the various ink acquired around the league, there were a lot of commonalities and trends. Hands down, the most common tattoos feature a basketball – sometimes being played with by an angel, being set on fire, or accompanied by one’s roots (like home state or family members). NBA players are also a surprisingly sentimental group, with many tattoos serving in memory of close friends and loved ones. When it comes to sleeves, there are too many guys with complete ones to sort through, so we’ll move on.

Examining the tattoos of the various NBA players was kind of a nostalgic exercise. Who doesn’t remember where they were the first time they saw DeShawn Stevenson’s Abraham Lincoln neck tattoo or like to crack jokes at K-Mart’s neck tattoo? Although we all love strolling down memory lane, it’s time to get down to it. What are the top 10 most aggressive tattoos in the NBA?

1. Marquis DanielsOnly the Strong Survive.” With as much ink as there is in the NBA, it was surprising how quickly (and convincingly) Marquis Daniels eliminated the competition. However, a tattoo this morbid and graphic, depicting a man shooting himself in the face with a shotgun by pulling the trigger with his toe, really had no peers. Congratulations, Marquis!

2. Al HarringtonLifted by an Angel.” Al Harrington had a nice little resurgence this season in the NBA and it’s nice to see that his ink has kept up with his play on the court. His bizarre tattoo of himself with a cape being lifted by an angel is either so meta that it goes above the heads of us mere mortals or is completely insane.

3. Kenyon MartinKissed by a Rose on the Neck.” In an ode to a classic that has haunted the league for years, we have to give K-Mart the proper respect. It takes a certain kind of man to have the kind of self confidence required to get a big set of lip marks on their neck in a place where they’ll be seen for the rest of their lives. And K-Mart is that kind of man.

4. DeShawn StevensonAbe Lincoln.” Another all-time classic and one of the most inexplicable tattoos in the League, DeShawn decided to commemorate the Great Emancipator, our nation’s 16th president. DeShawn’s infamous P tattoo on his face merits honorable mention consideration, but we decided in favor of Abe Lincoln as his most deserving ink. Stay crazy, Mr. Stevenson.

5. AK-47Wings of a Freak.” Accompanying the already frightening and bird-like features of Andre Kirilenko is a tough task, but this back tattoo certainly seems to do the trick. Is it a dragon? A run of the mill flying lizard? Or something more sinister entirely? We’re not sure but it’s certainly one of our favorite pieces of ink flying around the league.

6. Chris AndersenFreebird’s Neck.” Perhaps the most completionist tattoo fan in the League, Chris “Birdman” Andersen’s multi-colored celebration of both his


Boston Celtics Playoff Game 1 Recap: With a Celtics Bias

Anybody who had watched the first two Atlanta-Boston matchups this year (Boston rested their starters for the third game) knew this one was going to an ugly matchup. This game certainly “lived up” to its expectations as the Hawks beat the Celtics 83-74 in a game where each team scored 19 points or less in three quarters. Below are the game’s biggest stories:

RONDO GETS EJECTED: With about three minutes left in the game, Kevin Garnett nailed a jumper and I turned to my friend to said, “We [the Celtics] may not win this game, but there is no way Atlanta is beating us this series.” A little more than two minutes later after the Celts had cut the lead to four points, Rajon Rondo broke one of Doc Rivers’ cardinal rules – getting a technical foul in the fourth quarter. Things went from bad to worse when Rondo continued arguing and eventually chest-bumped referee Mark Davis.

There’s no doubt that Rondo will be suspended at least one game for this unforgivable transgression. Rondo has had several maturity issues in his six-year career, but this was probably his biggest mistake. As I told my friend, Atlanta’s not beating Boston in a series if they both field their game one rosters for the whole series. Boston played terrible tonight and they were still down only four points with a minute left in the game. Minus Rondo, the advantage swings over to the Hawks however.

Rondo versus Jeff Teague is the biggest mismatch on the court, as proved tonight, and is the key to the Celtics victory. As a matter of fact, if the Celtics had leaned on Rondo a little more with Pierce and Garnett struggling, I think they may have pulled off the win tonight. Rondo was simply fantastic (20 points on 10-18 shooting, 4 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 steals and only 1 turnover) until his late ejection. It’ll be tough for the Celtics to beat the Hawks in game two without him, even if Ray Allen is healthy. If he’s suspended for two or more games, the Celtics chances of advancing will be pretty slim. It’s really tough to understate how potentially devastating Rondo’s boneheaded move was.

HAWKS’ ENERGY: The most overused excuse for getting outplayed in sports is “they played harder than we did tonight.” For once, that cliché is actually applicable, as the Hawks opened up a 19-point lead on the Celtics just past the midway point of the second quarter. Boston matched the Hawks’ intensity from there on out, but by that time they had dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of. Besides the occasional “tired legs” game, the Celtics have played with a lot of energy the second half of the season. That’s why it was very surprising to see the Hawks completely out hustle the Celtics to start the game, which started with Atlanta’s first possession when Josh Smith found Joe Johnson behind the defense on a long pass despite the fact that Boston had two defenders ahead of Johnson when Smith got the defensive rebound. It also makes you wonder if Doc Rivers was wise to rest his starters against the Hawks during the last week of the regular season, essentially gave up any chance of home court advantage. I doubt the Celtics would have started so lethargically at home.

The Celtics, who shot 46% from the field and 37% from 3-PT range during the regular season, shot 39% from the field and went 0-11 from 3-PT range. A lot of the Celtics’ poor shooting was the result of Atlanta’s tough defense. Outside of a couple games against Chicago, I can’t remember the last time the Celtics had to shot so many contested jumpers. Props to Atlanta aside, the Celtics miss… Read more...